Recently I was asked to contribute to a Poker News article comparing baseball with no limit hold ’em. Below are the lost answers that did not make it off the cutting room floor.
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Age: 35
Hometown: Leechburg, PA
Living now: Las Vegas, NV
1. Can you tell me about your baseball background? Are you still playing at all?
I played baseball collegiately at a division II school, Gannon University. I was a 4-year starter and bounced around the open tryouts for a couple years post graduation attempting to get signed. However, even as a left-handed pitcher there wasn’t a lot of interest in a 24-year-old workhorse with a lot of miles from going deep into counts– particularly when I only topped out at 86 mph. I played here in Vegas on the weekends until the 2013 season, I tore my ACL and the year off actually did more havoc on my arm strength than knee. I never really put the time in to get it back and have kinda just unofficially retired. 
 
2. Was baseball a part of any clubhouse or locker room? Any interesting tales? Or maybe a few players you played with from the game?
I assume you meant poker, and yes of course. I actually wrote a blog (https://thevoicewithin.me/2016/09/22/throwback-thursday-god-girls-and-the-knuckle-curve/) talking about how poker allowed me to bridge the social gap between myself, as a freshman who didn’t drink, and the upper classmen. As NL began to boom (around my Junior year) I found myself hosting small games in the back of the bus which helped pass the 24-hour ride from Erie, PA to Ft. Meyers, FL. 
 
3. Any skills or traits that transfer over to the poker table?
Far too many parallels to list. The most notable, at least for me, is that in a macro sense both of these games are rooted in failure– in a micro sense, it’s merely that variance has an obvious presence during individual outcomes. Given the simplistic nature of both games on the surface the impact of failure being constant while success becomes the variable challenges even the most talented. There’s an undeniable mental aspect to both of these games which involve a lot of self-reflection and unbiased analysis of both mechanics and strategies as a whole– that, to me, is the most valuable skill I’ve been able to cultivate from my exposure to these games.  
 
4. Anything else to add? 

I want to take a second to deviate from the scientific examination of these games and speak a bit to the abstract. These games lend themselves to over analysis of the most minute details and though success can certainly be found there (Greg Maddux is in the Hall because he is the most cerebral player in the modern era) it’s more commonly attributed to overachievers rather than the true greats. Even Maddux was an anomaly with the way he artfully carved batters up throwing mid to high 80’s in the live ball era. The greats always seem to just find a way. I mention this because currently there is a “Chicken Little” movement proclaiming that A.I. will indeed solve this game, eventually rendering it fruitless to play. Though I agree technology will at some point do most things we currently deem impossible, outside of reaching The Singularity we will remain fallible. In that human element lies creativity, which illuminates the pathway to unquantifiable genius. A day may come where the perfect musician, artist, athlete or poker bot is created until then I believe we should relish and cultivate the artistry that exists in those who occasionally flirt with that in which we do not yet understand.